The Toronto Raptors revealed the name and logo of their team for the NBA’s 2K eSports league (“NBA 2K League”), which will begin its inaugural season in the new year. The Raptors’ team will be called Raptors Uprising and go by Raptors GC for shorthand on social media.
For those unaware, 17 NBA teams bought in for the league’s first foray into eSports. While specifics are still being worked out, the process will see elite 2K gamers apply in the new year, then run through games for a long stretch as a sort of tryout period, and from there a draft will be held in March to set the teams and begin play in April. MLSE recently had a job posting for a general manager position to put the team together and grow the brand in the city, and that’s since been taken down, so it seems they’re ready to get rolling. In terms of broadcast, the G League announced today that they’ll begin streaming a handful of games on Twitch each week, and that would seem to point to Twitch being the broadcast medium for the 2K League as well.
I’m sure those unfamiliar have some questions, and I wrote about the launch of the league in more detail here, which can hopefully help.
A challenger approaches pic.twitter.com/hsy3DQ6lsX
— Raptors Uprising (@RaptorsGC) December 13, 2017
— Raptors Uprising (@RaptorsGC) December 14, 2017
Here’s some more information, via a team release:
The first stage of qualifying for the NBA 2K League will take place from Jan. 1-31, 2018. All prospective players, 18 years or older, need to win 50 games in NBA 2K18’s Pro-Am mode on Playstation 4 or Xbox One and complete an online application by January 31. Players who meet these requirements can be invited to the next round of tryouts held in February 2018. After the final round of tryouts in February, the best players will be selected for an official league draft in March where each team will select five players who will play the game using unique characters. Tip-off of competition will begin in May of next year.
“We’re thrilled about this unique opportunity to connect with a large number of fans in a new way,” said Dave Hopkinson, Chief Commercial Officer at MLSE. “We look forward to working closely with the league, and our 16 partner teams, to create an exciting new sports and entertainment property and fan experience.
As a procedural note, RR does not currently have plans to cover the 2K team, but as details are rolled out, we’ll see how feasible it is.